Mandrake the Magician first appears in the King Features Syndicated publications in June 1934
He was not a masked hero like many that where taking to the stage at that time, in fact Mandrake was a very old fashioned looking gentleman even back in the 1930's.
|Mandrake Fighting Crime in Style|
No mask or cape as such, Mandrake dressed in a Top Hat, he wore a Tuxedo all the time, carried a swagger cane... ok he did wear an opera cape, but that completed the look. He dressed like someone going to an evening at the Opera or Theatre. A later addition to Mandrakes back story was that his Hat and Cane were originally his father Theron who had also been a man of great power and magic.
Mandrake lived in a large Mansion called Xanadu which was built in the hills outside New York City. Here he lives with his companion, body guards, man-servant, friend Lothar.
Lothar had met Mandrake in Africa. Lothar was a Prince and heir to the throne of Seven African Nations that had combined to form a greater Nation over years. Lothar processed great strength, stronger than 10 men and super hard skin what was near impossible to cut of pierse . He also had some natural denfense against magic, both good and evil. It is unclear if these abilitites were natural or a result of some secret African Magic themselves. Lothar was both protector and friend to Mandrake.
Another person who lived at the Mansion was Princess Narda of the Mystical European country of Cockaigne. Both she and Mandrake became sole mates and completely infatulated with one another at their first meeting. She gave up her like of luxary and travelled with Mandrake as his Stage assistante and love interest. They would later marry.
|The African Prince Lothar & Narda , Princess of Cockaigne|
Mandrake was known as a Stage preforming Magican, but his magic was in fact real. Some was illusion and hypnotic suggestion, and some of it was old fashioned slight of hand and smoke and mirrors. BUT on the whole Mandrake was a man of MAGIC. Narda and sometimes Lothar would play a part in Mandrake stage extravaganzas, as well as assisting him in fighting crime. .
|Mandrake Performing with the help of Narda with an ever watching Lothar close at hand.|
His powers was his ability to caste illusions, and added to this he had some telepathic abilities too.
He would play up his abilities by saying words and spells he had made up, and gesturing with is hands and cane. His cane was his Magic Wand. It is unsure if the cane had any magical abilities, but it looked good. This was part of his stage persona, but found that this worked well when he fought against evil and its disciples.
He confessed he had learnt his magical arts in a secret hidden College of Magic, or as he called it Collegium Magikos in the Himalayas in his youth.
Although not as famous or as lasting as such, his look and can still be seen today in a few of the modern day heroes from the DC Universe. Manly Zantanna, Daughter of Zatara, also in look of the Teen Titans Zach (Zachary) Zatara cousin of the Justice League Heroine
In his day Mandrake had his own radio show, his own movie house serial, comic strip, appearances in comic books and in the 1980's he was featured alongside some of the other characters from the King Features Syndicate as part of the Defenders of The Earth...... And at present a NEW Feature Film is planned to feature the man himself.
It could may be a Magical Time ahead for any Mandrake Fans.
Next Time to round off my look at Heroes from as past age, I will look at The Defenders of the Earth too
Until then ENJOY !